Topic: General News

The new items published under this topic are as follows.
Apr 29, 2008# News: European Study on Transgender's Healthcare Is Published
General News (EU) - ILGA-Europe and TransGender Europe published the first comprehensive report on the experiences of health care by Transgender people in European Union. This report is a result of the largest and most comprehensive data collection on transgender people's lived experienced to date.
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Mar 27, 2008# Quickie Link: Scott Long's Troubling Style of Advocacy
General News (USA) - As the head of the LGBT desk at the Human Rights Watch (HRW), Scott Long bears critical responsibilities for investigating human rights abuses and advocating greater freedoms for our community worldwide. That is estimable work, by any measure. One occupational hazard, however, of taking on a highly specialized charge on matters of such delicacy involving repressive and dangerous regimes is undoubtedly a compounding sense of proprietorship, a fatigued feeling that others "shouldn't mess with my turf, they should stay out of my bailiwick." On matters related to anti-Gay repression in Iran, dating back almost three years, Long seems to have fallen into that trap, indeed to have fallen quite far.
# Note: Read more on Gay City News

Mar 18, 2008# Quickie Link: Gay and Grey in Berlin's New Old People's Home
General News (Germany) - A fluffy yellow bedspread is severely tucked around the hospital-style bed, there's a wheelchair-accessible shower and a token pot plant. At first glance, the Asta Nielsen Haus in Berlin looks like the average old people's home. But this is a pioneering facility - the first in Europe to cater exclusively for Gays and Lesbians. The idea of a Gay-only project for elderly people was first mooted at a "Gay and Grey" congress in Cologne in 1995. It reflects fears among Germany's first openly Gay generation about what will happen when they are too frail to care for themselves. "At the moment, most Gay and Lesbian residents keep themselves hidden. Imagine one Gay person in a home of 100 people. It can be lonely and isolating," says Christian Hamm, who is on the board of the organisation behind the care-home plan. Hamm and his associates are now drawing up plans for an assisted-care retirement centre for Gay people in another Berlin district.
# Note: Read more on Guardian

Mar 04, 2008# Quickie Link: Recent Legal Victories of Gay Groups in Nepal
General News (Nepal) - Nepal was recently witness to a victory of sorts for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual and Inter-sex (LGBTI) communities. It was an undeniably historic day on 21 December 2007, when the Supreme Court of Nepal, in response to a petition filed by a coalition of local LGBTI-rights groups, ordered the government to fulfil its contractual responsibility to LGBTI individuals by amending existing legislation or formulate new laws that would permit this community to better exercise its civil and human rights. This was certainly an atypical victory for Nepal’s LGBTI movement. In the aftermath, questions are now surfacing about how ideas and identities travel across the transnational landscape, and what social contexts make these transmissions more successful in certain places and times. These questions are especially pertinent when compared to neighbouring India, the imagined custodian of Southasian democracy.
# Note: Read more on HIMAL

Mar 01, 2008# Quickie Link: March Confronts Hate Crime
General News (Australia) - Simply attending last night's Mardi Gras extravaganza was the hardest thing Craig Gee has ever had to do. Then agreeing to march with his partner, Shane Brennen, on the second row of the world-famous parade took his anxiety to another level. But above all was the courage needed just to step back onto Oxford Street for the first time since being savagely bashed at the popular strip in a Gay-hate attack three months ago. The assault left the 27-year-old with a fractured jaw, an eye socket smashed in three places and a broken right leg. He has since suffered nightmares, blurred vision and headaches and has been afraid to go anywhere alone. The animosity then reached fever pitch when Mardi Gras arrived and Gay Sydney endeavoured to show off the best of itself to the outside world, with the number of incidents further doubling. As part of the response, revellers were last night asked to hold hands in symbolic defiance. Partygoers were also advised to travel to and from venues in groups or by taxi if alone, and either to cover their costumes or get changed after they arrived so as not to risk being targeted.
# Note: Read more on Sydney Morning Herald

Mar 01, 2008# Quickie Link: Australia's Gay Mardi Gras Turns 30
General News (Australia) - Up to 300,000 people lined Sydney's streets to watch the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Saturday as the largest Gay pride march in the Asia Pacific region marked its 30th anniversary. For the first time, serving military personnel were among the 10,000 costumed participants sashaying through the city's Oxford Street Gay district, showing how much attitudes have changed since the first event in 1978. That march, staged at a time when male homosexuality was still illegal in New South Wales state, was a demand for Gay rights that ended with more than 50 arrests as police and protesters clashed.
# Note: Read more on AFP

Feb 28, 2008# Quickie Link: Obama Courts Gay Vote
General News (USA) - Democratic presidential frontrunner Barack Obama appealed for support Thursday from the LGBT community but maintained his opposition to same-sex marriage, preferring instead civil unions. In what his campaign called an open letter to the Gay community Obama touted his support for passage of the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act and an inclusive ENDA. "In the U.S. Senate, I have co-sponsored bills that would equalize tax treatment for same-sex couples and provide benefits to domestic partners of federal employees," the letter said. "And as president, I will place the weight of my administration behind the enactment of the Matthew Shepard Act to outlaw hate crimes and a fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act to outlaw workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity."
# Note: Read more on 365Gay.com

Feb 27, 2008# Quickie Link: NL Princess to Attend Gay Meeting and Discuss Prejudice
General News (Netherlands) - In an announcement described by LGBT activists as "historically significant," a spokesman for the Dutch Royal Family has confirmed that the country's future Queen will attend a Gay rights conference. Argentinean-born Princess Maxima, the wife of Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, will meet delegates from Holland's major cities at the event and speak out against the exclusion of Gay people. A royal spokesman said: "The Princess is in favour of equal rights of all groups in the Netherlands."
# Note: Read more on Pink News

Feb 27, 2008# Quickie Link: School Apologises to Gay Teacher
General News (UK) - A school governing body yesterday apologised, unreservedly, for the homophobic comments made by a head teacher which forced a young Gay teacher to resign from his job at an inner city school in London. In his first term at the school in 2006, the teacher said that his head teacher had told him to stop “banging on” about Gay issues when he dealt with homophobic issues in the classroom and told him that he wasn't “the only one in the village”. The teacher complained that his head teacher had stated that “there was no homophobia at the school until you came,” that he inflamed older students by the way he walked in the corridors that he “did not walk that way at interview” and referred to him as “Gay Dave”.
# Note: Read more on UK Gay News

Feb 26, 2008# Quickie Link: Gay Activists Meet the Governing Party in Malta
General News (Malta) - The Malta Gay Rights Movement (MGRM) this evening presented a petition, backed by 1,084 signatures, to the Nationalist Party asking for formal recognition of the rights of same sex couples; the inclusion of an article in the Criminal Code regarding homophobic and transphobic violence, and a clear strategy addressing homophobic and transphobic bullying in schools. The petition also seeks legal protection against discrimination in the delivery of goods and services expressly referring to the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression; the formal extension of the remit of the National Commission for the Promotion of Equality to cater for the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression; and the inclusion of gender reassignment surgery and hormone therapy for transgender persons as part of the public health services.
# Note: Read more on Times of Malta

Feb 25, 2008# Quickie Link: Senegalese Gays Flee the Country
General News (Senegal) - Dozens of Senegalese Gays are reported to have fled to the neighbouring countries (The Gambia and Mali) to escape the looming threats on their lives. The Gambia may not be a safe hideout for Gays, considering President Yahya Jammeh's personal hatred of homosexuality. He had earlier threatened to crush any act of homosexuality in the country. Since the publication of a Gay wedding in the outskirts of the capital Dakar in early February, stories on homosexuality have been dominating news in Senegal. The story - backed by photographs - was first published by a local magazine, Icone. Icone's editor has since received several threats for exposing Gays to "social stigma and blackmail." The publication has flared tempers in the predominantly Muslim nation, resulting to arrest and detention of Gay people and all those who graced the wedding, including musicians.
# Note: Read more on Afrol News

Feb 24, 2008# Quickie Link: Jamaica a Dire Place for Gays
General News (Jamaica) - Being gay in Jamaica is not easy. For years, human rights groups have denounced the harassment, beating and even killing of Gays here, to little avail. No official statistic has been compiled on the number of attacks. But a recent string of especially violent, high-profile assaults has brought fresh condemnation to an island otherwise known as an easygoing tourist haven. A couple of weeks back, a local tabloid, The Jamaica Star, ran a screaming headline when a local police officer, disturbed by the attack on the dinner party guests, decided to disclose his sexual orientation to the paper. He said he had been harassed regularly by his colleagues because he is gay. He said the police did not take violence against Gays seriously.
# Note: Read more on Canada.com

Feb 24, 2008# Quickie Link: Ric Weiland Bequeaths $65 Million to LGBT Groups
General News (USA) - Ric Weiland, one of Microsoft's first five employees, has left tens of millions of dollars of his estate to a fund to benefit eleven LGBT charities. The bequest includes multi-million dollar gifts to Seattle's Pride Foundation, Lambda Legal, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. The bequest, the largest ever in support of the LGBT movement, will establish a fund at the Pride Foundation in the amount of $65 million. The largest will support the foundation's grantmaking programs, an amount the Seattle Times has reported as $19 million. An additional $46 million in the fund will be distributed to national LGBT charities. The Pride Foundation provides scholarships and grants to LGBT students and organizations in the Pacific Northwest. Weiland, a Seattle resident, was a former board member and volunteer at the organization.
# Note: Read more on PageOneQ

Feb 21, 2008# News: Different Families, Same Love - Conference on LGBT Families in Europe
General News (EU) - On 4-6 March 2008, ILGA-Europe, in partnership with Informational centre LEGEBITRA, a Slovene LGBT organisation, organises a conference on LGBT families in Europe. This conference is a contribution to the current Slovene Presidency of the European Union and aims at drawing attention to the lack of recognition and existing discrimination against LGBT families at European level.
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Feb 17, 2008# Quickie Link: 1,000 March in Tribute to Slain Oxnard Teen
General News (USA) - About 1,000 people have marched in tribute to an Oxnard teenager who was shot to death in his school computer lab. The peace-and-tolerance march Saturday honored 15-year-old Lawrence King. King was shot in the head on Tuesday at E.O. Green Junior High School and removed from life support two days later. Classmates said King revealed he was Gay this school year and had been teased because he wore makeup, high heels and other 'feminine attire.'
# Note: Read more on SF Gate

Feb 13, 2008# Quickie Link: US Judge Rules Against Student Wearing Anti-Gay T-Shirt
General News (USA) - An US federal judge ruled – again – that Poway school officials did not violate the free speech rights of a student whom they pulled from class for wearing a T-shirt with an anti-Gay slogan. The decision Tuesday by U.S. District Judge John Houston is the latest win for school officials in a long-running legal battle with students Tyler Chase Harper and his sister, Kelsie. Tyler Harper sued the Poway Unified School District in 2004 alleging his freedom of speech and religion rights were violated when he was pulled out of class earlier that year. The self-described Christian wore a shirt during the school “Day of Silence,” which is intended to promote tolerance of Gays and Lesbians. The shirt said “I Will Not Accept What God Has Condemned” on one side and “Homosexuality is Shameful, Romans 1:27” on the other. Harper was removed from class, but not otherwise disciplined. His suit was aimed at a school district policy aimed at eliminating “hate behavior” that offended students in certain minority groups based on race, gender or sexual preference.
# Note: Read more on Sign On SanDiego

Feb 10, 2008# Quickie Link: Israel to Expand Adoption Rights for Gays
General News (Israel) - Israel's attorney general said on Sunday that same sex-couples will be allowed to adopt children that are not biologically linked to either partner. Meni Mazuz decided that Gay adults will be allowed to adopt the biological or adopted child of their partner and, in some cases, even adopt children not connected to them. Courts in the Jewish state in the past have only allowed Gay adults to adopt the child of their partner, the justice ministry said. "It was decided there is no legal hindrance from approving same-sex couples, or one of the partners, to adopt an unrelated child who is not the child of either partner," the justice ministry said in a statement.
# Note: Read more on Reuters

Feb 09, 2008# Quickie Link: More Complaints About Police Homophobia in UK
General News (UK) - The number of complaints about homophobia within the police has risen by almost a quarter, according to the Gay Police Association. The association said it received 350 calls to its helpline last year, compared with 260 the year before. It estimated that there were about 7,000 homophobic incidents among police last year, but intimidated officers were reluctant to report them. The police said "any form of homophobia has no place in the police". The Gay Police Association said it was aware of colleagues refusing to serve with Gay officers and quoting sections of the Bible at them on parade grounds.
# Note: Read more on BBC

Feb 07, 2008# Quickie Link: Senegal 'gay wedding' men freed
General News (Senegal) - Police in Senegal have released several men arrested over the publication of pictures said to depict a wedding ceremony between two men. No official reason has been given for their release. The pictures were published in Icone magazine, whose editor, Mansour Dieng, has since received death threats. Homosexuality is illegal in Senegal but it is not clear whether the arrests were in connection with the ceremony or the death threats. Mr Dieng has also been questioned by police over the issue. The ceremony is believed to have involved a Senegalese man and another from Ghana or the Ivory Coast, who has not yet been found. Senegal is a predominantly Muslim country and Gay men and women remain socially marginalised.
# Note: Read more on BBC

Feb 06, 2008# Quickie Link: Homophobes Submitt Petition Against Adoption by Gays
General News (UK) - Almost 2,000 people in South Yorkshire have signed a petition objecting to Gay couples adopting children. The petition, drawn up by the Christian People's Alliance (CPA), is being presented to Sheffield City Council to lobby against homosexuals adopting. The group is protesting at government plans to allow a child to be placed with a Gay couple regardless of the wishes of birth parents. The decision to campaign against same sex adoptions comes after a city magistrate and CPA member, stood down over the issue. Andrew McClintock, 63, resigned from his position in the family courts after he was refused permission to opt out of cases that resulted in children being placed with same sex parents.
# Note: Read more on BBC

Feb 06, 2008# Quickie Link: Anti-Gay Attitudes Growing in Russia
General News (Russia) - Most Russians are clearly intolerant to Gays, signaled the poll of Levada-Center. In terms of moral, homosexuality is unacceptable for 84 percent, only 5 percent of respondents don’t view it as an issue of morality and just 3 percent said it’s quite acceptable, signaled the poll that Levada-Center held in December to clarify the nation’s attitude to the Gays. Of interest is that the number of people with negative attitude to homosexuality is growing in Russia, according to official statistics. In 2006, for instance, only 47 percent condemned Gays and Lesbians. One possible reason is the surge in xenophobia, as the growth in negative attitude to some minorities automatically fuels aggression towards others, the analysts said.
# Note: Read more on Kommersant

Feb 04, 2008# Quickie Link: A Loud, Proud Crowd at Gay Pride March
General News (Australia) - It was a riot of colour as thousands of Melburnians celebrated the 13th Gay Pride march in St Kilda yesterday. More than 1000 athletes from the Asia Pacific Outgames led the march as hundreds of floats put their Gay pride on display. Rainbow flags were held high as marchers made their way along Fitzroy St to a concert in Catani Gardens. A police band marched for the first time among many other arts, ethnic, religious, and sporting groups. Float participant Max Primmer, in his 50s from Creswick, said the march was important because it brought the community together. "We're Gay, we're proud to be Gay and we're happy to show ourselves off for being Gay," he said.
# Note: Read more on News.com.au

Feb 04, 2008# Quickie Link: Police Bust 'Gay' Party in India
General News (India) - The Thane police on Saturday night raided a party at a farmhouse in the Yeoor Hills following a tip that it had been organised through a website for Gays. A team, led by deputy police commissioner Bhujangrao Shinde, raided the Agrawal bungalow at Yeoor and detained six persons, including the main organiser, Sahil Bhoricha (24). Liquor bottles and condoms were seized from the bungalow. Entry to Yeoor Hills was restricted during the operation. Ashok Row Kavi of Humsafar Trust, a Gay rights group, condemned the action as unfair, given that all the men detained were adults and were not found violating any law. A magistrate denied the police custody of those arrested.
# Note: Read more on Times of India

Feb 01, 2008# Quickie Link: Brian Epstein Statue Backed by Fans
General News (UK) - A campaign is underway to create a memorial to Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein. Epstein was the man behind acts such as The Beatles, Cilla Black, and Gerry and The Pacemakers, meaning he was at the heart of the British musical invasion of America in the 1960s. Campaigners hope a permanent statue or bust can be created to honour the legacy of the Liverpool-born promoter, who died in 1967 aged just 32. The campaign, which is in its early stages, is being spearheaded by the organisers of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans (LGBT) History Month. Gary Everett, artistic director of Liverpool’s annual LGBT arts festival Homotopia, said: “As Liverpool celebrates Capital of Culture the time is right for Epstein’s vast legacy, to the city and to the world, to be remembered.
# Note: Read more on Liverpol Echo

Jan 31, 2008# Quickie Link: Gay Group Faces Court Challenge in Turkey
General News (Turkey) - Efforts by Turkish officials to close one of the country's leading LGBT organisations will resume in court today. A department of the Istanbul Governor's office responsible for non-governmental organisations alleges that the group, Lambda Istanbul, violates Turkish laws on morality. They claim that Lambda violates both the Penal Code, as an association in violation of "law and morals," and Article 41 of the Turkish constitution, which is concerned with "the peace and welfare of the family." At a hearing last October Lambda's lawyers presented the court with a report from a legal expert explaining why the group's work on LGBT rights was not in breach of morality codes.
# Note: Read more on Pink News

Jan 31, 2008# Quickie Link: Gujarat's Gay Prince Wishes to Adopt a Child
General News (India) - Gujarat's Gay prince of Rajpipla, Manavendrasinh Gohil, who was disinherited by the family for going public about being Gay but later taken back into the fold, now wants to carry on the royal bloodline, in a manner of speaking. The prince was in Rajpipla on Wednesday to perform the annual ritual of garlanding his great-grandfather Vijaysinh Gohil's statue on his 119th birth anniversary. Asked who would continue this tradition after him, he said: "I have carried out all my responsibilities as the prince so far and will continue as long as I can. I will also adopt a child soon so that all traditions continue." Although there are no known cases of single Gay men adopting children in India, advocate Sudhir Nanavati says Manavendra should not have legal hassles in adoption.
# Note: Read more on Times of India

Jan 30, 2008# Quickie Link: Frank Mugisha Stands For What’s Right
General News (Uganda) - Uganda’s Gay activists came out loud and proud last year. Their government and countrymen, however, would rather stick them in the closet. Queerty recently chatted with Sexual Minorities Uganda leader Frank Mugisha to learn more about growing up Gay in one of Africa’s most homophobic nations. It’s not as blakc and white as one may think.
# Note: Read more on Queerty

Jan 28, 2008# Quickie Link: Italian Senator Called 'Faggot' In Parliament Debate
General News (Italy) - A member of Italy’s Parliament was spat upon and called a “faggot,” a “fairy” and a “traitor” after he broke ranks with his small Catholic-oriented party and announced he would vote to defend Italian Premier Romano Prodi against a resolution aimed at bringing down his center-left government. The name-calling erupted on the floor of the Italian Senate on Jan. 24 as Sen. Stefano “Nuccio” Cusumano shocked fellow members of the tiny Udeur Party by declaring his support for Prodi. According to reports in the Italian news media, Cusumano fainted on the Senate floor and had to be carried out of the chamber on a stretcher after Sen. Tommaso Barbato shouted the words “squallida checca” and “frocio,” along with other insults, and spat on him.
# Note: Read more on Washington Blade

Jan 28, 2008# Quickie Link: Zimbabwean Professor Reconsiders Africa's Homophobia
General News (Zimbabwe) - Ever since the president of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, compared Gays and Lesbians to dogs and pigs, his country has earned an international reputation for homophobia. But a Canadian professor at Queen's University in Kingston who has spent several years working and doing research in the country says that view is wrong, and he hopes to prove it. Marc Epprecht says that life for Gays and Lesbians in the southern African country is "not really as bad as it's cracked up to be," and he's spreading that message in a new book published in Zimbabwe in late 2007. "Unspoken Facts: A History of Homosexualities in Africa" is the country's first mainstream book on the topic of Gay and Lesbian life.
# Note: Read more on Xtra.ca

Jan 27, 2008# Quickie Link: Bad Methodology Leads to False Results in UK Survey
General News (UK) - Only one in 100 Britons would describe themselves as Gay, according to the first government research into sexuality. A further one in 100 would call themselves Bisexual - but both groups are outnumbered by those who say they are unwilling to discuss their private life with Whitehall researchers. In the survey, some people failed to understand the question and gave answers including "female", "normal", "not active" and "I am OK with my sexuality". Some interviewers declined to ask the question for fear of giving offence. The Office for National Statistics, which carried out the poll of 4,000 people, admitted that its results were "not a reliable estimate" of the homosexual population.
# Note: Read more on Telegraph

Jan 25, 2008# Quickie Link: New Group Will Support Auckland's Gay Dads
General News (New Zealand) - A new social and support group in Auckland for Gay men who are also fathers will begin in February 2008. "There are an increasing number of men coming out of long term marriages or thinking of coming out of marriages that have children and need advice and support" says Glenn Batten, organiser of the new group. "Many men got married just before law reform, as it was the thing to do then, have had children and now the children are grown or growing, are looking at coming out as Gay men for the first time in their lives," he explains.
# Note: Read more on GayNZ

Jan 24, 2008# Quickie Link: Russian Gay Activist Honoured at International Mr. Gay in Hollywood
General News (USA) - Nikolai Alexeyev, the lead organiser of Moscow Gay Pride, was in Los Angeles to receive the “Hero” award which was presented during the International Mr. Gay competition. “This is not just my award, it is an award of all those who courageously fight for LGBT rights in Russia, risking to loose their jobs, to be dismissed from studies, to be harassed, beaten and even killed,” he said when accepting the award at the Music Box at the Henry Ford Theater. The Moscow Gay activist then promised that there would be a Russian participant next year. Winner of this year’s competition was Mr. Gay Argentina, Carlos Fabian Maelius.
# Note: Read more on UK Gay News

Jan 24, 2008# Quickie Link: Matt Foreman steps down from NGLTF
General News (USA) - The executive director of one of the US Gay rights group NGLTF has accepted a new job with a philanthropic foundation in San Francisco. Matt Foreman has been at the helm of the New York-based 'National Gay and Lesbian Task Force' for five years. In April, he plans to start working for the Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund as head of the foundation's Gay and Lesbian program. At the task force, Foreman has been a prominent advocate for Gay men, lesbians and transgender people in the U.S. on such issues as marriage and military service.
# Note: Read more on Sign On SanDiego

Jan 23, 2008# Quickie Link: Polish Politicians Dismiss European Court Ruling on Gay Adoption
General News (Poland) - While Gay men and women welcomed this weeks ruling by the European Court of Human Rights on adoption by Gay men and women, Polish politicians have effectively said that they would take no notice of what the Grand Chamber of Europe’s highest court has said. The case was bought by a French Gay woman who claimed that she was not permitted to apply to be an adoptive parent on grounds of sexuality. “It’s a milestone,” said Robert Biedron, president of the Warsaw-based Campaign Against Homophobia, speaking about the Strasbourg court ruling. “This decision prevents administrators of various countries from denying LGB people adoption which has happened in many places.” But Polish politicians have vowed to disregard the court ruling. “If a similar judgment dealt with Poland we would still not agree to adoption by homosexuals”, said deputy speaker of the Polish Parliament, Stefan Niesiolowski, a member of the ruling Citizen’s Platform (PO).
# Note: Read more on UK Gay News

Jan 22, 2008# News: European Court of Human Rights Affirms Adoption Rights for Gay People
General News (EU) - Today the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights delivered its judgement in a case of E.B. v France and said that exclusion of individuals from the application process for adoption of children simply because of their sexual orientation is discriminatory and is in breach of the European Convention of Human Rights. ILGA-Europe, FIDH (Fédération Internationale des Ligues des Droits de l'Homme), APGL (Association des Parents et futurs Parents Gays et Lesbiens) and the BAAF (British Association for Adoption and Fostering) were granted permission to take part in the proceedings as third parties.
# Read more...

Jan 21, 2008# Quickie Link: Cuban Law May Recognise Same-Sex Partners
General News (Cuba) - The Cuban Communist Party is considering granting legal recognition to same-sex unions, as health officials prepare to authorise sex-change operations, the director of the Cenesex sex education centre in Cuba has said. The proposed change to Cuban family law would put members of same-sex unions on a par with heterosexual couples, psychologist Mariela Castro, who is the daughter of acting President Raul Castro and niece of Fidel, told EFE. Cenesex, which was founded in 1989 as a department of the Public Health Ministry, approached Cuba's parliament two years ago with a proposal to overhaul the 1975 Family Code to recognise the rights of Gays, Lesbians and Transsexuals.
# Note: Read more on Pink News

Jan 19, 2008# Quickie Link: Little Sister's Bookstore for Sale
General News (Canada) - Mere months away from celebrating its 25th anniversary, Little Sister's Book and Art Emporium, described by many as "more than just a bookstore," is up for sale. "I really have never seriously contemplated it before but I think the timing is right for us," reveals Jim Deva, who opened the bookstore with partner Bruce Smyth in its original Thurlow St location on Apr 15, 1983. The idea of selling Little Sister's gradually came to Deva and Smyth as they were planning the program for the store's silver jubilee celebrations in May. But the store and its owners and manager are probably best known for their decades-long battle with Canada Customs (now Canada Border Services Agency) which began seizing their shipments in 1984 on the grounds that their Gay and Lesbian imports were obscene.
# Note: Read more on Xtra.ca

Jan 17, 2008# Quickie Link: Europe's First Gay Nursing Home Opens
General News (Germany) - Europe's first gay nursing home has opened in Berlin, with out-and-proud Gay Mayor Klaus Wowereit publicly supporting the ground-breaking project, which culminates years of planning and fund-raising. The newly built, four-storey nursing facility in the Pankow district of the German capital can accommodate 28 patients in state- of-the-art rooms with private bathrooms and enough space for some of their own furnishings. Many Gay Germans, who have lived openly as homosexuals well into middle age, are now worried that discrimination will have them retreating into secrecy if they enter retirement communities or nursing homes.
# Note: Read more on News Trends

Jan 17, 2008# Quickie Link: Blueprint for Change
General News (USA) - When Massachusetts passed its Gay rights bill in 1989 the issue of transgender rights was not on the radar screen of most Gay and Lesbian advocates. In the last few years a handful of states -- Maine, New Mexico, Illinois, Washington, Iowa, Oregon and Colorado -- have passed non-discrimination laws covering both sexual orientation and gender identity. But most of the states that passed Gay rights bills in the 1980s and early 1990s, like Massachusetts, have not updated their laws to include protections for transgender people. In fact, only four states -- Rhode Island, California, New Jersey and Vermont -- have accomplished that goal. And many of the factors that made victory possible are not present in Massachusetts.
# Note: Read more on Bay Windows

Jan 14, 2008# Quickie Link: Gays, Lesbians, Bi, Transgender People Are Discriminated Against in Hungary
General News (Hungary) - Hungarian LGBT people who openly declare their sexual orientation face discrimination, a report by Patent Association concludes. Relying on case studies from the time period 2000-2007 and the analysis of the legal context to describe forms of injustice against LGBT people in Hungary, the study lists typical forms of discrimination, such as the case of a Gay couple who were asked to leave a concert, because they were kissing, or the story of a secondary school student, who was assaulted by one of his teachers because he is transsexual. The case of a bisexual woman who was harassed by a colleague following accusations that she placed a Lesbian personal advertisement and finally quit work, is also seen as typical.
# Note: Read more on UK Gay News

Jan 14, 2008# Quickie Link: The Love That Dares to Speak Its Name -- Discreetly
General News (China) - There's never been a better time to be Gay in China, but it still pays to be careful. Beijing's attitude has been described as a Triple No policy: no approval, no disapproval, no promotion. That hands off approach — a sort of commercial don't ask, don't tell policy — is emblematic of the delicacy with which the Communist regime is learning to deal with many of the issues concerning personal liberties that are increasingly being raised by its burgeoning middle class. For their part, homosexuals in China seem perfectly happy to pursue their lives within the broad boundaries allowed by the government, albeit not without the occasional snipe at the authorities.
# Note: Read more on CNN

Jan 14, 2008# Quickie Link: Pride and Prejudice
General News (China) - Three Gay idividuals tell their stories of being Gay in modern-day China. There is Ruo Zhe, who used to think he was a monster, because of his attraction to the same sex. He even tried having a girlfriend at university, even though he knew that he felt nothing for her. "It's like your left hand touching your right hand," Ruo says. Eventually he met more men after being taken by a foreign friend to a local Gay bar. "I was shocked to see so many people there. It seemed like a totally different world, where people all looked so relaxed, chatting and smiling," he says. Ruo then launched the first Chinese website for gay people at the end of 1998, which aims to provide a platform for people to meet each other.
# Note: Read more on China Daily

Jan 12, 2008# Quickie Link: Baby Taken Away From Brazilian Trans Mother
General News (Brazil) - A government official who successfully fought to take an adopted baby away from a Transsexual mother in Brazil has said that "Gay couples are abnormal." On Monday 70 people gathered in San Jose do Rio Preto, a small town outside of Sao Paulo, to protest against the baby being removed from the care of a 30-year-old Transsexual hairdresser, Roberta Góes Luiz, and her partner. "I've been through three psychological evaluations successfully. I have my own home, I've been with my partner for six years and I have a job," Roberta told O Globo. The baby had been under Roberta's care for 8 months.
# Note: Read more on Pink News

Jan 11, 2008# Quickie Link: Hadrian the Gay Emperor
General News (UK) - The bust is classically Roman, the face imperious. But this is no ordinary emperor. As a major new exhibition at the British Museum makes clear, Publius Aelius Traianus Hadrianus was not only a peacemaker who pulled his soldiers out of modern-day Iraq. He was also the first leader of Rome to make it clear that he was Gay. Hadrian: Empire and Conflict will see the bust make pilgrimages to both ends of Hadrian's Wall, the first time it has left the British Museum since being found in the Thames 200 years ago. But it is the singular life-story of the Gay emperor that is likely to capture the interest of most visitors.
# Note: Read more on Independent

Jan 10, 2008# Quickie Link: Tense Meeting with HRC over ENDA
General News (USA) - The Transgender president of the San Francisco Police Commission bluntly returned the Equality Award she received from the Human Rights Campaign during what was described as a tense meeting last weekend between members of the Bay Area trans community and HRC President Joe Solmonese. "It no longer symbolized equality to me," Commission President Theresa Sparks told the Bay Area Reporter upon exiting the two-hour meeting, held January 5 at the LGBT Community Center. "It's a matter of their integrity and not following through and my own integrity." Sparks said that she could no longer stand to even look at the etched glass award when it was on her credenza. She received the award in 2004.
# Note: Read more on Bay Area Reporter

Jan 08, 2008# Quickie Link: Gay Holiday Companies Merge to Form Largest in Europe
General News (UK) - Respect Holidays and Sensations Holidays, the UK's largest tour operators specialising in Gay and Lesbian travel, have merged. Now Europe's largest specialist tour operator, Respect will continue to trade as Respect Holidays, and Sensations will trade as Sensations Holidays. The parent company that both holiday brands will trade under, Lidana Limited, is the current umbrella company of Respect Holidays. Lidana Ltd will take over full operational responsibility for the management of both brands across the world from their offices in Camden, North London.
# Note: Read more on Pink News

Jan 08, 2008# Quickie Link: 'Dykes on Bykes' Keep their Trademark
General News (USA) - The U.S. Supreme Court says a Lesbian motorcycle group that leads the annual Gay Pride parade in San Francisco can keep its trademark - 'Dykes on Bikes'®. The high court today refused to hear an appeal from East Bay lawyer Michael McDermott, who claimed the name was "scandalous and immoral" and disparaged Lesbians and men, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. He challenged a January 2006 decision by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that granted the San Francisco Women's Motorcycle Contingent exclusive rights to the name it has used for more than 30 years. The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., which rules on patent and trademark issues, dismissed McDermott's case in July, saying he could not demonstrate how he would be harmed by the name.
# Note: Read more on USA Today

Jan 03, 2008# Quickie Link: Gay Policeman Fights Prejudice
General News (South Korea) - An officer assigned to the riot police has openly declared his homosexuality and vowed to fight social prejudice against sexual minorities. On Dec. 30, Private Kim Hyun-jong (not his real name) posted an article about his homosexuality on the online riot police community Web site. He is the second policeman from the squad to have openly come out after YooJeong Min-shik identified himself as being gay and refused to finish his service term for which he was prisoned in 2006. In South Korea, men can serve in the riot police as part of their mandatory military service. In the article, Kim said that coming out was not easy, but what was more important was that he faced discrimination and insults, that should be outlawed at military camps.
# Note: Read more on Korea Times

Jan 02, 2008# Quickie Link: Vodaphone Blocks Access To Leading Gay News Sites
General News (UK) - The world’s leading mobile telecommunications company considers UK Gay News and at least one other Gay news website to have 'adult' content and is barring access, it has emerged. UK-based Vodaphone, which has interests around the world including a joint venture, Verizon Wireless, in America, puts a block on access to this site – and on the highly-reputable Gay City News in New York – deeming the content to be 'adult' in nature. The suspicion is that Vodaphone is using third party software that blocks websites with the word 'Gay' in a url – this is something that UK Gay News has in common with Gay City News.
# Note: Read more on UK Gay News


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